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COLLECTION Identifier: far00019

Icones Farlowianae watercolor illustrations

Scope and Content

This collection primarily consists of original watercolor illustrations of fungi by Joseph Bridgham and Louis Charles Christopher Krieger prepared for William Gilson Farlow and used in his posthumously published monograph, Icones Farlowianae: illustrations of the larger fungi of eastern North America. The illustrations are based on voucher specimens deposited in the Farlow Herbarium.

There are over 300 illustrations by Bridgham, arranged alphabetically by genus and species. There are around 350 illustrations by Krieger, arranged numerically by Krieger number. The collection also contains pencil sketches, cyanotypes, photographs, plate proofs, and notes.


  • 1889-1912


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide one form of valid photo identification. Please contact for additional information.


4.7 linear feet (15 flat boxes, 1 half-width manuscript box)

Historical Note

The creation of “Icones Farlowianae: illustrations of the larger fungi of eastern North America” involved four botanists, two artists, two printers, and numerous photographers and editors. The work spanned more than forty years and cost an estimated $50,000.

An icones, from the Latin “icon” meaning an image or figure, is a collection of illustrations representing a specific object or subject. “Icones” was an important project for William Gilson Farlow. He believed it would serve as a much needed guide, particularly for those without access to a large collection of fungi to aid in identification.

Following Farlow's death in 1919, Roland Thaxter, Edward Angus Burt, and Carroll William Dodge assumed responsibility for publishing the guide. This proved challenging as both Thaxter and Burt suffered from ill health and all three botanists had numerous commitments which included teaching, research, and their own publishing. There were also issues with the printers and many of the plates had been damaged while in storage. Burt, who provided the text for “Icones,” explained in his introduction that it was worth the hardship to honor the memory of Dr. Farlow.

Biographical Note

Joseph Bridgham was born in New York City on October 15, 1845, to Samuel and Eliza Ann Bridgham (née Fales). He was educated at private schools and graduated from Brown University in 1867. He went on to study architecture and worked as an architect for several years. Bridgham married Florence Madeleine Jenckes in 1870; the couple lived in Rhode Island and had three children.

Entomology was a pastime Bridgham shared with his mother. He joined the American Entomological Society in 1863 and amassed a collection of over 30,000 insects. His interest in natural history eventually led him to give up architecture to pursue nature illustration full time. Bridgham was known for his renderings of microscopic images.

Much of Bridgham's work was commissioned by universities and scientific institutions. He contributed over 40 plates to Alpheus Spring Packard’s monograph on bombycine moths, produced a set of illustrations of North American flowers and mosses for Columbia College in New York, and frequently worked with the Smithsonian Institution. From 1889 to 1899 Bridgham worked with Harvard professor William Gilson Farlow, preparing illustrations and frequently accompanying Farlow on field excursions to collect specimens for his monograph on the fungi of North America.

Bridgham died on April 12, 1915, at his home in East Providence, Rhode Island. The Bridgham’s brocade moth, Oligia bridghamii, is named for him.

  1. American Historical Society. 1916. New England families: genealogical and memorial, Vol. 2. New York (NY): American Historical Society.
  2. Bridgham SW. 1896. From our chapters: ten years of good work. Observer. 7(5):264-265.
  3. Corresponding secretary. 1896. List of members of the American Entomological Society of Philadelphia, PA. Trans. Amer. Entomol. Soc. 23(1):i-viii.
  4. Farlow WG, Burt EA. 1929. Icones Farlowianae: illustrations of the larger fungi of eastern North America. Cambridge (MA): Farlow Library and Herbarium of Harvard University.
  5. Walton WR. 1921. Entomological drawings and draughtsmen: their relation to the development of economic entomology in the United States. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 23(4):69-100.

Louis Charles Christopher Krieger was born on February 11, 1873, in Baltimore, Maryland to Henry and Katharine Lentner Krieger. He attended parochial school and enrolled at the Maryland Institute School of Art and Design in 1886. He continued his studies at the Charcoal Club School of Fine Arts and in 1891 was hired as an assistant artist at the United States Department of Agriculture. Krieger worked in the Division of Microscopy under Thomas Taylor, who was particularly interested in mushrooms and set Krieger the task of painting local mushrooms and copying plates of European mushrooms.

The Division of Microscopy closed in 1895 and Krieger spent the next year in Munich studying at the Royal Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts. He returned to Maryland in 1896 to teach drawing and painting until 1902 when William G. Farlow invited him to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Krieger spent the next ten years as a mycological illustrator for Farlow. In 1904 he married Agnes Checkley Keighler. Their daughter, Agnes, was born in 1909.

Krieger returned to the U.S.D.A. in 1912 and was assigned to the Plant Introduction Garden in Chico, California. Over the next five years he painted a large series of cactus species for agriculturist, David Griffiths. In 1918 Krieger resumed his study and illustration of mushrooms with Howard Atwood Kelly, a Baltimore physician.

Krieger illustrated sugarcane diseases for the Tropical Plant Research Foundation in Cuba in 1928 and 1929. This work was followed by an appointment as Mycologist at the New York State Museum in Albany. Over the next year Krieger prepared the manuscript and illustrations for “A popular guide to the higher fungi of New York State,” published in 1935. He returned to government service in 1929 to collaborate again with David Griffiths.

Krieger was predeceased by his wife in 1939. He died in Washington, D.C. on July 31, 1940.


Stevenson JA. 1941. Louis Charles Christopher Krieger, 1872-1940. Mycologia. 33(3):241-247.


The Bridgham illustrations are arranged alphabetically by genus and species. Some illustrations have Bridgham numbers while others are unnumbered. The scientific name is often written on the illustration. Jacob Langa, in the 1930s, and Rolf Singer, in the 1940s, further researched and annotated the Bridgham illustrations often supplying updated scientific names.

In most cases, Bridgham titles are taken directly from the illustration but in some cases the updated scientific name was used because that reflects the filing order. Scientific names that were updated by herbaria staff appear in scope and content notes.

Original large illustrations and plate proofs are housed in seven flat boxes. Photographs, notes, and small illustrations were separated from the large boxes and are housed in a half-width manuscript box labeled "Bridgham separated materials".

The Krieger illustrations are boxed and arranged numerically by Krieger number. Krieger titles are taken directly from the illustration.

Some of Krieger's illustrations bear annotations by German mycologist, Rolf Singer (1906-1994) who worked in the Farlow during the 1940s or by Danish mycologist, Jakob Lange (1864-1941), possibly during the 1930s. Updated or annotated scientific names were provided by Donald H. Pfister, Curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany in 2011.

Scientific names that were updated by herbaria staff appear in scope and content notes. The location note refers to the places the fungi were from, not necessarily where the specimen was drawn. All of the Krieger materials are housed in eight flat boxes. The photographs and notes are not separated from the originial illustrations and proof plates.


This collection was given to the Farlow Herbarium by Lilian Horsford Farlow after the death of her husband, William Gilson Farlow, in 1919.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria: Joseph Bridgham papers. [Icones Farlowianae : a sample of the color lithography]. Louis Charles Christopher Krieger glass plate negatives. William Gilson Farlow papers.

Related material at other institutions
  1. Charles Henry Fernald Papers, 1869-1963, Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries
  2. David Griffiths Papers, 1904-1918, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C.
  3. University of Michigan Herbarium, Krieger's Watercolors of Fungi, University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Conservation note:

Material from eighty-two Krieger folders and thirty-nine Bridgham folders were conserved in 2019. For additional information contact the repository.

General note

Kr. 193 - Stropharia rugosoannulata is missing.

Digitization note

Harvard's Imaging Services department digitized this collection in 2020 as part of the "Original botanical illustrations of the Botany Libraries" project.

Duplicate proof plates without annotations were not digitized. Many of the Bridgham original illustrations have the Bridgham number written on the verso, those versos were not digitized.

Bridgham, Joseph. Icones Farlowianae watercolor illustrations, 1889-1912: A Guide.
Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University.
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Botany Libraries, Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany, Harvard University Repository

The Harvard University Herbaria houses five research libraries that are managed collectively as the Botany Libraries. The Farlow Reference Library of Cryptogamic Botany specializes in organisms that reproduce by spores, without flowers or seeds. The Archives of the Farlow Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany houses unique resources including personal papers, institutional records, field notes and plant lists, expedition records, photographs, original artwork, and objects from faculty, curators, staff, and affiliates of the Farlow Herbarium.

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